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Alright, it’s time to learn about attention-seeking behavior on social media: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Everyone likes to feel validated. Today, that need for validation has quickly carried over onto social media. Unfortunately, this is where the comparison game can also play out and cause people to feel inferior or jealous.
It’s no different in the music world. You can be a wildly successful musician, constantly validated on social media and showered with positive attention; or you can be an up-and-comer who critiques and compares your music to others to the point of exhaustion, maybe even mental illness.
In fact, The Recovery Village states: “In any given year, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness,” and you have to wonder if social media plays a role in that statistic.
I mean, something has to be driving people to feel the need to take just one more selfie to gain some attention.
However, before you start thinking this is a melancholy post, it’s good to know that social media — when utilized correctly — can be used for good.
Below are some ways a musician can get caught up in the dangers of social media, or conversely, utilize social media for their personal good.
Dangers of Seeking Validation on Social Media
Constantly seeking validation is a form of mental illness. Here are some of the potential dangers of this practice.
Constantly seeking approval from others, especially on social media, can only bring negativity into your life. There are instances where you do receive authentic approval and praise, but validation can become an insatiable monster that only makes you want more and more. And the more you seek validation, the worse places and people you start seeking it from.
You start doing things you wouldn’t normally do just for likes on Facebook. For instance, you might end up getting a tattoo done by someone in the music community who is an amateur; now your tattoo is infected, leaving you with a medical condition for life. This is just a mild illustration of what can happen when you seek approval from the wrong people.
This vicious cycle can also be seen in celebrities, including musicians. How many times have we seen musicians do stupid things just to stay relevant in the media? Too many musicians have suffered from addictions, injuries, and even death because they could never satiate their desire for validation.
For a beginning musician, newly found accolades can become a standard you set for yourself. It’s best to remember that you don’t have to live up to some idealistic image. It will only add stress to your life.
Comparing yourself to others could be considered another form of validation, but it also affects you negatively, just in a different way.
We have seen eating disorders in young men and women who are constantly comparing themselves to the impossible standards that the media portrays as “beautiful” or “thin”.
Some people even end up fearing failure or standing out from the crowd because they believe in the facade of social media and airbrushed beauty kings and queens. What they don’t realize, however, is that the people they see as perfect have problems of their own.
From a musician’s standpoint, a little friendly competition is fine, but you’ll lose the personality of your music if you constantly strive to be like other musicians. One of the most important parts of being a musician is expressing yourself and standing behind your creations with confidence.
The media applies the same aesthetic standards mentioned above to the musicians of today. It leads many to believe that if they aren’t skinny, or tan, or fit, or drop-dead gorgeous, etc., then they can’t make it big — which is a total lie, and just another way for you to lose your personality in your music. There are other more constructive ways to keep and expand your personality.
How To Use Social Media in an Entrepreneurial Way
Using social media in an entrepreneurial way isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here are two practical ways to get started.
Connect with (Good) People
Social media is a great way to network, especially for musicians. It’s a way to keep in contact with venues as well as fellow musicians and is one of the best ways to set up shows because of its ease of use and convenience.
Want to set up a tour? You can check out most any venue with just a few searches and make sure you’re playing at a reputable place of business.
Promoting Your Music
Social media is great for promoting your image, as well as your music. Let the masses know when you are coming out with new music, and share your music videos. Create a Facebook Event to invite people so you have a rough estimate as to who will come.
As an artist, you know how important promotion is to your work. So, make sure when artists you like come out with new music to promote them too! The law of reciprocity states that whatever you give to others will come back to you multiplied, right?
See? Social media can be a valuable tool if you use it correctly. But if you don’t, social media can lead to feelings of insecurity, depression and anxiety.
So, tap into your entrepreneurial spirit to network and promote your music. Use social media for good, and you will shy away from negative, insecure feelings and replace them with feelings of accomplishment and self-gratification.
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